Visit one of the world´s most remarkable destinations: the Galápagos Islands – home to an astonishing variety of native species, and sail the west coast of South America to see fascinating archaeological sites and lost cultures. Join us to discover cultural treasures like the mysterious Nazca Lines, and explore the city of Antofagasta in northern Chile.
Islands that changed the world
Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands are one of the world’s most remarkable destinations. Located about 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador, the archipelago is home to an astonishing variety of native species — enough to inspire a theory that would change the world. The islands remain an irresistible destination for adventurers and nature-lovers today. After this exciting land adventure, we board MS Fram to continue the expedition by sea.
Mysterious Nazca Lines
Geoglyphs are pictures carved into rock, and some of the world´s most spectacular are found at San Martin. Known as the Nazca Lines, the largest of the figures is over 300 m and as such is best viewed from above!
Tales of two cities
In Antofagasta, Chile's second-largest city, explore the old-fashioned plaza and learn about the intriguing history of this gateway city.
Our expedition ends in the poetic city of Valparaíso, where you can ride on one of many funiculars scattered about the city. Valparaíso lies nestled in a natural amphitheater-like setting, surrounded by many hills. A funicular trip to the top provides sweeping views of the bay and the city´s many multi-coloured houses.
Please note: your voyage rates include Economy flight Quito-Baltra, Baltra-Lima (via Guayaquil)
Once you have made your way to Quito, take in the well-preserved heritage of the city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is beautifully situated in an Andean valley at an elevation of 2,850 meters (9,350 ft), making it the second-highest capital city in the world.
Enjoy an overnight at a centrally-located hotel in Quito.
After breakfast, we drive north to the Equator and visit the Inti Ñan Museum.
Afterwards, we ascend the Teleférico – one of Quito’s most popular attractions, offering spectacular and easily accessible views of the city. The ride lasts only 10 minutes but takes you to an altitude of 4,050 m (13,300 ft). At the top, the lookout offers the visitor incredible views of Quito, the surrounding valleys and snow-covered volcanoes (along with coffee, snacks, and oxygen for the short of breath). Bring a sweater or light jacket - it can get chilly up there!
Return to the city to enjoy lunch in Quito´s charming Colonial Quarter.
The afternoon's sightseeing is a good example why Ecuador's capital earned the honour as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel, then transfer to Quito Airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil).
Upon arrival at Baltra´s airport, we will meet the local representative and board a bus for the short transfer to Itabaca Channel, which separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. Here, we board a small ferry that crosses the azure waters of the channel to Santa Cruz, a journey that takes about five minutes.
On the other side, we travel through a rural agricultural area surrounded by wild landscapes and many different species of flora and fauna. We may well spot the finches that are famous for being the basis of Darwin's theory of evolution.
See the famous Galápagos land tortoises in their natural environment and learn how private ranches help protect these special creatures and their habitat. Tortoises of all different ages and sizes gather here: small young tortoises with shining carapaces, and older individuals with weathered and worn shells. Lunch will be served in the highlands.
The well-known Lava Tunnels are another amazing experience. Formed by lava flows from the volcanoes, they range from the highlands down to the sea. Join an amazing half-hour hike through one of the tunnels to where it gets too small to pass. A naturalist guide will share in detail the story of the origin of these fascinating tunnels.
Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora. Once settled, we walk to the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station, which hosts educational museums on both the history and development of the Galápagos Islands, and protection of their natural heritage. Native giant land tortoises can also be observed. Many different tortoise species exist in the Galápagos and the station is the only place where most of the species reside at one site.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore small yet picturesque Puerto Ayora and its many shops with local arts and crafts. We later enjoy dinner at the hotel´s cosy restaurant.
Breakfast at hotel. We have two full days to tour one of the nearby, uninhabited islands by boat.
Please note that only one of the four islands listed below will be visited per day:
Bartolomé Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock and Galápagos penguins; or South Plaza Island, home to a colony of land iguanas; or Santa Fe Island, known for having the islands´ most sea beautiful coves; or North Seymour Island, considered a microcosm of the entire archipelago.
The visits are regulated by the Galápagos National Park and we are notified of permission 30 days prior to the visit. Regardless of the islands we visit, lunch is served on board the vessel during the tour.
Later, we have dinner at the hotel and overnight.
Breakfast at hotel. We then transfer to Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador. En route to the airport, we stop at “The Twins” or “Los Gemelos” - two impressive volcanic depressions in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
A box lunch is served on the flight from Baltra Island to Lima (via Guayaquil). At Lima airport, we meet our local representative who transfers you to your hotel in the city.
Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast and checkout at the hotel, we join a “Half Day Lima Highlights Tour”, including a visit to the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Highlights of the tour include Casa Aliaga an almost 500-year old mansion built for one of Pizarro’s lieutenants, and the Santo Domingo Convent, the best-preserved religious buildings in all of Lima. The tour finishes at the quayside for embarkation on MS Fram, which stands ready to continue our expedition at sea.
Puerto General San Martin is the gateway to the famous and mysterious Nazca Lines and geoglyphs. These striations were etched into the ground between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., and are considered among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs are several kilometres long and illustrate living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. Join us to experience these marvellous creations of the ancient world.
Days at sea mean you can join the Expedition team´s interesting lectures, learn the basics of expedition photography, and spend time out on deck enjoying the fresh salt air as you scout for wildlife. Of course, there’s also plenty time to chat with fellow explorers, or just find a quiet corner to enjoy the serenity of a day at sea.
Known as one of the oldest and prettiest cities in northern Chile, Antofagasta is nicknamed “The Pearl of the North”. It is a city of remarkable contrasts, where you can experience the driest desert and the bluest sea.
Join one of our optional excursions to see La Portada Natural Monument, a peculiar rocky arch formation at sea, or visit one of the small fishing towns nearby.
You may also or explore sunny, warm beaches, or the Antofagasta´s historic sites at your own pace.
Enjoy another peaceful day at sea as we make our way south to Valparaíso, and the Expedition team continues their lecture programme.
Our expedition ends in the wonderful, colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. After disembarking MS Fram, take some time to stroll the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter, or ride a funicular to one of many hilltops for a citywide panorama.
This is an expedition where the elements rule, so weather and wind conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.
Our Polar Inside cabins are situated on lower deck and offer a cosy atmosphere. All cabins include bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of the cabins have separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Our Polar Outside cabins are situated on lower deck and they all have bathrooms with shower/wc. Most of them offer separate beds where one can be turned into a sofa, and others offer upper and lower berths. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Our Arctic Superior cabins are comfortable cabins situated on both upper and middle deck, where you can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere. All the cabins have bathrooms with shower/wc. You will also find coffee and tea facilities in these cabins. Most of them have separate beds, where one can be turned into a sofa and some have double beds. Some of the cabins have more facilities than others.
Our Expeditions Suites are the most exquisite cabins on the ship. Situated on upper deck, you can enjoy the most comfortable suites on board. Inside you will find seating areas with TV, bathrooms with shower/wc and most of them have double beds. All of the suites offer cabin kits, which contains bathrobe, slippers and other beauty articles. Some of the suites do have more facilities than others.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Passenger Capacity: 276
MS Fram is designed for sailing in polar waters, holds the highest safety standards and is the perfect size for optimum nautical manoeuverability and guests' comfort. With space for only 276 guests, you are sure to get to know many of your fellow travellers. You will share stunning sights and memories of a lifetime long after returning home. The Norwegian word Fram means ‘forward’ – lifting expectations of the voyage at hand.
MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind - to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, our more active guests can use our well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck, our Jacuzzis guarantee you surreal memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.